In the 1940s and 1950s, state and local government debt was much lower than today. Federal, state, and local governments grew substantially during the 20th century. Spending, revenue, and debt increased as the population grew, and the government invested more in infrastructure, education, and social programs. Leading up to the Great Recession that began at the end of 2007, total state and local government debt increased sharply. It has been falling since 2010 but increased between 2019 and 2020.